A Poem for International Nurses Day

Today is International Nurses Day, and nurses are even more essential during this global pandemic. Everywhere, the pressure on nurses, on all medical personnel, is escalating to the breaking point. Even under ordinary circumstances, their jobs are stressful, as Linda Leeson shows us in her poem, “I’m Sorry In Advance.”

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To read Linda Leeson’s poem, please click

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I’m Sorry In Advance

by Linda Leeson 

Your beds not made today
But I have a patient here
Whose chest pain
won’t go away
I’m sorry in advance
You’re not happy  with your meal
Dietary does try hard sir,
To give it some appeal
I’m sorry in advance
Your morning pills are late
I’ve a patient climbing out of bed
That I must try to sedate
I’m sorry in advance
Your mattress isn’t soft
We do need some new beds ma’am
But these things do cost a lot.
I’m sorry in advance
I didn’t get to comb your mothers hair
I’ve a patient with emphysema
She’s scared, she can’t get air
I’m sorry in advance
Your fathers still in pain
I’m trying to reach his doctor
I’ll have to try again
I’m sorry in advance
Your dressings aren’t yet done
But a patient has just passed away,
I offered solace to his son,
I’m sorry in advance
I’m not cheery as a bird
I’ve worked 12 hours, my feet ache
I asked for help,
but no one heard
I’m sorry in advance
I’ve only two hands and two feet
I’m trying to care for you, patient
Your needs, I want to meet
My 12 hours now are 16,
No replacement could be found
My aching feet they cry out
My head begins to pound
I’m sorry in advance
I cannot meet your gaze
My eyes are filled with tears
Your face is just a haze
If I could sit down for a minute
And maybe grab a bite
Phone my kids to say I love them
And I’ll be late again tonight
I’m sorry in advance
I didn’t do all that must be done
If I worked any faster
I’d soon begin to run
When I do get to hold your hand
Or wipe your furrowed brow
Please understand, dear patient
I care for you and how
I see your pain,
I  sense your fear
Your anger in a glance,
Our health care service
is failing you
I’m sorry in advance.


Linda Leeson is a Licensed Practical Nurse in British Columbia, Canada.


Photo – Clinical Staff holding message at Cornell Health, the health service for Cornell University

 

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Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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